Sharing Easter With Your Kids
About the Guest
It is important to communicate the truth of the gospel to your kids--and the sooner, the better. Michelle Hill interacts with a number of kids about the story of Holy Week and Easter. Bob Lepine defines the gospel in a way that is easy to share with neighbors.
Michelle Hill interacts with a number of kids about the story of Holy Week and Easter. Bob Lepine defines the gospel in a way that is easy to share with neighbors.
Sharing Easter With Your Kids
Bob: “I pledge—
Dennis: “I pledge—
Mark: “I pledge—
Bob: —“that I”—Mark’s joining us—and Tonda?
Dennis: Are you going to join us?
Bob: Tonda’s pledging here.
Dennis: Tonda doesn’t have any kids, though.
Bob: No; we’ll figure out something for her.
Dennis: Okay; alright.
Bob: Okay; here we go: “I pledge”—
Group: “I pledge—
Bob: Now, I didn’t hear the listeners. Listeners, you need to do this too. We’ll start again: “I pledge—
Group: “I pledge—
Bob: —“that I will tell—
Group: —“that I will tell—
Bob: —“some group of children—
Group: —“some group of children—
Bob: —“my own, if I have them—
Mark: —“my own, if I have them—
Bob: [Laughing] Okay; we had to put that in for Tonda’s sake.
Dennis: I’ve got plenty; alright.
Bob: That’s right.
—“and some group of adults—
Group: —“and some group of adults—
Bob: —“who don’t know Christ—
Group: —“who don’t know Christ—
Bob: —“about the resurrection—
Group: —“about the resurrection—
Bob: —“at some point—
Group: —“at some point—
Bob: —“between now and Easter.”
Group: —“between now and Easter.”
Bob: Alright; there’s the pledge. You can put your right hand down.
And Tonda, you can’t tell people on TV—they have to be able to talk back to you; alright? [Laughter]
Dennis: And I would lay out one additional challenge, too, Bob. When you do that—not if—but now, that you’ve taken the pledge—
Bob: —you’ve taken the pledge.
Dennis: —you’ve taken the pledge—when you do that, write us and tell us what happened: perhaps with one of your children; perhaps with a friend, a neighbor/a family member.
In fact, it was just last night—Barbara and I were praying together about one of our children. We just talked about that particular child and wondered about the child’s salvation experience. They haven’t given us any reason to think they’re not really a Christian, but we began to think about how vague it has been—it hasn’t really been articulated.
I think what we’re going to do this week, on the broadcast, is going to equip our listeners to have conversations like that. It’s going to be good for Barbara and me, as well, to revisit the gospel—and talk about how it relates to this particular child’s life—and help reaffirm or reestablish that commitment that this particular child has already made, I think.
Bob: You hear a lot about parents seizing teachable moments with their children, and Easter is an annual teachable moment for families.
Dennis: And if we’re smart, as parents, we can seize those moments and use them as an opportunity to, again, reinforce the gospel—help our children understand it—because it isn’t easy to grasp. There’s a growing understanding of grace and forgiveness, and there’s a growing understanding of what it means to go to heaven, and what death is—for young people.
Dennis: I think what parents ought to do is use this annual time of celebration as a time to build biblical values into their children’s lives.
There are a lot of young people today, Bob, who don’t believe in eternal life—who don’t have any hope that there’s anything beyond the grave. You’ve got to wonder [if their perspective would be different]—if those kids grew up in homes, where the parents took the time to teach from the Scripture and to reinforce the message of Christianity, which is: there is forgiveness of sins and that God has reached down and redeemed us—the helpless/the hopeless—and has given us the reality of eternal life if we will place our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Michelle: That is Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine, giving us a pretty big charge!—share Jesus with our children and, also, with a neighbor or a loved one, who doesn’t know Him.
How easily do we share what we love? I mean, just think about it! If you’re thinking about sharing Jesus, you’re like, “Oooh, that’s just a little bit scary!” But we share, all the time, things that we love. If you love fitness, then you are, online, sharing how many miles you ran this morning; or if you love a book, well, then, you gladly proclaim how it changed your life. So, if we love Jesus, sharing Jesus should be easy; right?
Maybe, it’s not!—maybe we get hung up somewhere. “How do we enter that conversation?”—I think that’s probably the hardest part—is: “How do we enter that conversation?”
Well, I want you to hear how Dennis Rainey talked with a group of elementary-aged children. I want you to pay special attention to how he asked one simple question to get their attention.
Dennis: Does anybody here—hold your hand up if you know the answer to this—does anyone here know what happened on the first Easter?
Jimmy: He rose from the dead!
John: Jesus died on the cross, and He rose again.
Dennis: Okay; see this big book right here?
John: My brother has that!
Dennis: He does? Does he like it?
Dennis: This is called The Beginner’s Bible. There’s a story here, and I want you to see the picture. Do you see the picture, right over here, on this page right here?
Child 3: That’s Jesus!
Dennis: What’s Jesus doing there?
Child 3: He’s praying.
John: He’s praying!
Dennis: Do you know what He had done before He went to the garden to pray?
He had come into Jerusalem, riding—
Jimmy: —a donkey!
Dennis: —a donkey; that’s right.
John: And they said, “Crucify Him!”
Dennis: Yes; He is praying, because it’s getting ready to be a very sad day in His life.
Jimmy: And they waved palm branches and said, “Hosanna!”
John: Yes; and they took their shirt off and laid it on the ground.
Dennis: Do you know what the surprise was that God had planned?
Child 3: Jesus would rose from the dead and rise from the dead.
Dennis: Do you mean He would come back, alive?
Children: Yes; yep!
John: —from the dead!
Jimmy: And they didn’t even know that.
John: —from the dead!
John: He did, and they didn’t even know that He was gonna rose from the dead.
Dennis: Yes; well, this book says, “And His friends would not be sad for long.”
Now, look at this next page: “Surprise.” What’s the picture of there?
Jimmy: I know!
John: I know!
Dennis: What is it, Jimmy?
Jimmy: The stone had been rolled!
John: The stone had been rolled! Jesus’s body isn’t there anymore. He’s not there anymore! An angel—
Child 3: I can’t see the pictures!
John: And they said: “Good news! The Savior has rose from the dead!”
Michelle: That’s so cute—hearing James Lepine and, also, John Lepine, from over 20 years ago, explaining the Easter story.
Well, you know, I need a break right now; because obviously, the pollen has been flying in the air and I need to go—well, sorry—clear some sinuses. On the other side, we’re going to fast-forward a couple of decades; and I’m going to sit down with some cuteness. We’re going to talk about the story of Easter with some young kids.
[Radio Station Spot Break]
Welcome back to FamilyLife This Week. I'm Michelle Hill. We are about two weeks away from Easter, and how do we share this Easter story with our kids so that they can retell it?
You know, the story of Christ dying on the cross—it’s kind of heavy; isn’t it?—it really is! All that Christ went through that day—we celebrate it, and we turn it into something glorious and pastel-y and eggy, and all of that—but it really is something that is so heavy. When you take a look at that entire week, leading up to Jesus’s resurrection, there are so many emotions that week. That can be hard for kids to understand.
I sat down with some kids, a few days ago; and I used an egg carton, filled with a dozen plastic eggs. In each egg, there were symbols for the journey that Jesus went through His last week—like a plastic donkey, and there’s also a cross, and there are some coins. It’s really quite easy—it’s a craft that you can do with your kids—easy to put together—you can google it online. I happened to use FamilyLife’s Resurrection Eggs. These eggs are great tools in sharing the special story with kids.
Now, I want you to pay special attention to what I call the kid-effect. Not only are they as cute as buttons, but here’s the thing—most adults—I mean, come on—I’ve lost that child-like wonder; and I’m sure you have, too—you know, that, “Wow!” when, all of a sudden, it’s like they understand something, and they get it. I want you to listen to that as we open up these eggs, and we share the Easter story.
Girl: Rainbow eggs?!
Michelle: I know! Okay; pick one egg.
Girl: Dis one.
Michelle: What is that?
Girl: She already did this one.
Michelle: Well, what is that, Estelle?
Estelle: It’s a cow!—no; a horse.
Michelle: Well, look at it again. [Laughter]
Girl: It’s a donkey!
Estelle: It’s a horse.
Michelle: It’s a donkey; isn’t it?
Michelle: What was the donkey used for?—do you know?
Estelle: Yeah; milk!
Boy: Oh, look at you!
Michelle: Oh, what did you find?
Michelle: Money?!—do you know what coins have to do with the Easter story?
Girl: I don’t know. Open up it!
Michelle: Okay; what’s inside of there?
Girl: A hand!!
Michelle: Oh, what are the hands doing?
Girl: Um, I don’t know.
Estelle: I want my Daddy!! [Crying]
Boy: Judas was a God-follower—a fake follower, to be pacific—
Girl: Estelle; Estelle—Estelle!
Boy: —or a disciple.
Girl: We get to celebrate Jesus raising from the—the “D-word!”
Girl: I don’t like to say, “dead.”
Girl: And then someone will have to call the ambulance!
Boy: Why did he want to kill Him?
Girl: And when can we get that microphone down?
Michelle: We can’t get that microphone down.
Girl: I hit her, and she cried.
Boy: Oh, I know this one!! It’s—
Estelle: I already did that one!
Boy: It’s like this thing, like—
Estelle: Mom, say it on the radio.
Boy: An evil person—
Estelle: Say something on the radio!
Girl: The amblulance will bring us to heaven!
Michelle: Is that—is that what happens?
Boy: Can I open this one?
Michelle: Hey, look!
Boy: Where’d this come from?
Michelle: When I do this with my hands, what does it look like?
Michelle: Praying! Who do we pray to?
Michelle: Do you sin?
Boy: Everyone sins!
Michelle: Can you do this egg, Titus?
Titus: A cross!
Michelle: Oh, a cross!
Boy: That’s what they put Jesus on!
Girl: And that means He couldn’t push up and get a breath.
Michelle: Why did He die on the cross?
Girl: Hey, here’s a donkey!
Michelle: For us!
Girl: For us.
Girl: So we don’t have to die.
Michelle: What is that?
Girl: A rock!
Michelle: It’s a rock.
Girl: That’s what they put—a very big rock—in front of His tomb.
Michelle: You’re so right!
What’s in this egg? What is it?
Estelle: It’s empty.
Girl: He was alive again!!
Michelle: Ohhh! What do we celebrate on Easter Sunday?
Boy: Jesus is risen.
Girl: He’s alive!!!
Michelle: He’s alive!
Michelle: [Laughter] Okay; so sharing the gospel—you know, the story of Jesus with children—it’s is so simple, and it’s so fun! You know, it’s the best legacy that you can leave your child. But what’s the legacy that you leave your neighbor?
Remember the resolutions, at the beginning of the show, that Bob was talking about? He was talking about—that, number one, you want to share the gospel with your child; but, number two, you want to share it with someone else—with your neighbor or someone else that you know. But how do you do that?
I pulled Pastor Bob in; because after all, we’re just a few weeks out from Easter. This is the perfect season to be thinking about how to evangelize and share Jesus with others. Here’s my conversation with Bob Lepine.
Michelle: Today, on FamilyLife This Week, we’ve been talking about how easy it is to share the gospel. We first started with how easy it is to share it with our kids.
Michelle: Now, I want to move on to adults. Just explain to us, in three minutes: “What is the gospel?”
Bob: —in three minutes.
Michelle: Sorry, Bob! We are on a time limit. [Laughter]
Bob: We’ll make this as simple as possible. I need to acknowledge that I’m borrowing from something I heard John Piper talk about, more than a decade ago. He said: “First of all, remember that the gospel is an historical event. This is not a philosophy or a moral code. This is an event that happened in time and space. The event is: Jesus came, lived a perfect life, died a substitutionary death, and then rose again from the dead.”
First Corinthians 15—Paul says: “This is the gospel I received/you received—you’re standing in it. This is the gospel by which you’re saved.” And then he goes on to say: “It’s that Jesus died and He was resurrected.” So the gospel has to include the death and resurrection of Christ for it to be good news.
Michelle: Yes; right.
Bob: Apart from that, we don’t have good news. But once we understand that Jesus died and was raised again, we have to understand the implications of that. There are implications in the heavens, because the battle between Satan and God was decided on the cross—Satan was defeated; death was defeated on the cross.
And then, there are implications for us; because we’re, now, given the opportunity to respond to that gospel and to believe in the work of Christ—and to receive, as a result, the benefits that are ours as a result of the gospel—forgiveness of sin, meaning and purpose in life, being transformed into the image of Christ.
Bob: I boil it down to three words, typically: “Because of the gospel, we have forgiveness; we have transformation; and we have hope—three things we didn’t have before—
Michelle: Oh, that’s good to remember!
Bob: —“forgiveness, transformation, and hope.”
And then, beyond that—John Piper said: “I’m afraid many Christians today, if you went to them and you said: ‘You can live in heaven forever. There’ll be no more sorrow, no more night—streets of gold. You’ll be reunited with your loved ones. The only thing is—Jesus won’t be there.’” He said, “I’m afraid many Christians would say, ‘That’s okay!’—that what we’re longing for is something other than Jesus.”
Bob: He says: “We’ve got to remember that, at the core, the gospel is Jesus. That’s the good news! We are reconciled with our Creator, the God of the universe, through the work of His Son. That’s the news we need to believe and embrace, and that’s the news we need to share with others.”
Michelle: And it’s not about—I’m just thinking of other things that I love: essential oils, or running, or food, or something like that—I love to share that! But how many times do I share Jesus with my next-door neighbor?
Bob: Well, it’s a good point. One of the reasons we’re inhibited is because, sometimes, when you share the gospel, friends look at you like, “Don’t annoy me with this!”; so we quiet down.
Well, they killed Jesus when He shared the gospel.
Michelle: It’s true.
Bob: So why should we expect that our friends are going to jump up and down and say, “Oh, tell me more!” There will be some rejection.
You and I were in a meeting, not long ago, with Ron Hutchcraft.
Bob: Ron’s a broadcaster—he’s a graduate of Moody Bible Institute; he’s an evangelist I was getting ready to preach a sermon on how we will be persecuted if we share our faith with others. I asked Ron for advice. He said, “Tell people to pray”—what he calls—“the three-open prayer.”
Michelle: “Three-open prayer.”
Bob: I said, “What’s that?”
He said: “The three-open prayer is something you pray every day: ‘God, would You open a door for me in a relationship with somebody I have, who’s a non-Christian? Open a door.’ By that, ‘Would You open a channel in our conversation, where I can just naturally and comfortably, say, “Do you know what’s made a difference in my life?”—where I can share my own story; where I can talk about my relationship with You in a comfortable way.’ ‘Lord, would You open a door?’—that’s the first open.
“The second open is: ‘Lord, would You open their heart?’ Because no matter how eloquently you share what you have to share, it takes God opening the heart of another person for the gospel to be understood and believed.
“And then, the third open is, ‘Lord, would You open my mouth?’ because we might have an open door and an open heart; but until we open our mouth, the gospel has not been shared. You know, Paul says, ‘Faith comes by hearing—
Bob: — “’and hearing by the Word of God’; so it’s incumbent on us. ‘How beautiful are the feet that bring the good news’—
Bob: —“and then share that good news with others.”
That’s a good resolution. [Laughter] I had forgotten my Easter resolution, from two decades ago; but it’s a good resolution for 2019.
Michelle: It is a good resolution!
Michelle: And what were those three opens again?
Bob: Would you pray that God would give you an open door?—that He would give you an open heart in the person you’re sharing with—and then, would you pray that He would open your mouth to share?
Michelle: That’s Bob Lepine, sharing the gospel with us and, also, reminding us how easy it is to share the gospel with others.
You know, if there was something Bob was saying in there that got you to thinking—and you’re just wondering about your own life and wanting to know Jesus more—we have some information on our website. Go to FamilyLifeThisWeek.com—that’s FamilyLifeThisWeek.com.
Thanks, again, to Bob Lepine for clearly sharing the gospel with us and, also, a special thanks to Titus and Thoryn, Iryna; Kloe, Katelynn; Estelle, Abby, and Bethany. Thank you guys for helping me tell the Easter story.
Hey! Easter is a comin’. I want you to think through how you can share Jesus with those you love over the next couple of weeks.
Coming up next week—we’re going to talk friendship with Catherine Parks. You know, at times, friendship can be hard—really, any relationship is—but it’s worth it. It’s totally worth it! And Catherine is going to give us some ideas on just how to spark true, deep friendships. I hope you can join us for that.
Hey, thanks for listening! I want to thank the President of FamilyLife®, David Robbins, along with our station partners around the country. And a big “Thank you!” to our engineer today, Keith Lynch. Thanks to our producers, Marques Holt—his precious daughters are Katelynn and Kloe—and Bruce Goff—his talkative, but shy, daughter, Estelle. Justin Adams brought in his kids: Thoryn, Titus, and Iryna; he also mastered the program. And Megan Martin is our production coordinator and mommy to Abby and Bethany.
Our program is a production of FamilyLife Today; and our mission is to effectively develop godly families, who change the world, one home at a time.
I'm Michelle Hill, inviting you to join us again next time for another edition of FamilyLife This Week.
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